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August 28, 2009

Moving On

Wild Flower Boque















     Time has come to bid the North Woods of NW Minnesota good-bye.  We have been here a couple of weeks and it is time to move on.  As is usually the case we enjoyed our stay and the exploration of all the back roads we could find.  The fishing wasn't all we had hoped for but just being able to get out on the lake in my little pee-wee pontoon and wet a line is worth a lot.

     The boat is now back in its berth in the basement of the 'tininthewind' and ready for its next adventure when we find it.

     We will do the slow "casino hop" thing on our way back to the La Crosse, WI. area.  No, we are not big gamblers but like to take advantage of some really good food that can usually be found there and of course some have in-expensive RV parks which make the stay nice as well.  Our casino book shows two right in line with our travels.

     In addition to one more picture here I am going to attempt to attach a brief video clip.  If you click on 'movie' and it works you will know that I have been successful.  If it doesn't you will know I have more work to do to learn how to do it.



Time to Pack the Boat Away
























August 23, 2009

Another Road Trip in NW Minnesota

Flowers Always say "I Love You"   












     A little to windy today for my little boat on the lake so another road trip was our choice.  We took off in a new direction to explore and on one stop back in the woods Kathleen picked wild raspberries while I picked a bunch of wild flowers to present to her.  The berries will be good with cereal in the morning and the flowers, after the kiss I got, will be fine decoration at that breakfast table.

     We stopped to photo a creek that we crossed, a road covered with water spilling over from a week of very rainy weather, an unoccupied forest observation tower and continue to marvel at the beauty of this part of Minnesota.  Enjoy the photo's.



Kathleen Picking Rasberries
















Wish I could climb it.
















No Name Creek
















To much Rain
















More Berries












August 22, 2009

Northern Minnesota Road Trip

     No matter where we are in this beautiful country we alway try to do a little research about the area and then take off on a road trip with the jeep.  Northern Minnesota does not lack for points of interest and when we see a beautiful picture we park the car----get out----and get the best picture we can.

 getting that picture















A beautiful Valley















     Our focus for the road trip was to visit a small rv park on the U.S. side of Crane Lake.  The park is located in a very unique spot and what interested us was it reportedly had 50amp, water and sewer hook-ups and we wanted to explore it for a possible future stop.  On our stop we got out to photo our beautiful U.S. flag and look across the water to Canada. 


















     Once we had checked out the park it was time to use the jeep for what it is made and take off on some of the Forrest roads in the area in search of the Vermillion River Falls.  We knew it would probably really be boiling the water as there had been so much rain this past week.  We also knew it would require a little hiking to view it but my partner with the sore hip was game to give it a try.  That hip hurts like "H" but Kathleen is a real trooper and saluted me by holding that walking stick high above her head.




Vermillion River Falls






























     The beauty all along our hike was worth the pain, we both agreed.  Some of the rapids and pools between them reminded us of the many canoe and portaging trips we made when we were first married and made numerous trips to camp in this part of the country.




A Pool between Rapids















     The hikers!











































August 20, 2009

Fishing Vermillion Lake

     Fishing Vermillion Lake from my pee-wee sea eagle pontoon boat is a hoot.  I keep branching out and fishing different bays as I keep testing the reliability of making it back without running out of trolling motor power.  Generally it is a good idea to head out in to the wind just in case you misjudge the point to turn around and head for the battery charger and harbor, at least the wind might help while rowing.  So far I have had plenty of fishing and still plenty of power from the battery when I have returned.

     I am catching a few fish, large mouth, small mouth and a few northern pike but not the "hogs" that were mentioned to me last week.

     The weather has been all over the map.  Very hot when we first arrived in the area and now quite cool and rainy.  It is beautiful out on the lake.  The loons have not disappointed as quite often I am greeted by their call when I come around a corner and surprise them.

     Tomorrow, Friday evening, like most places in the country several suggested restaurants in the area are having "Friday night Fish specials" and we have been told of one at the "Landing" that we will be giving a try.  Most that we have been familiar with serve cod or white fish but apparently the Landing will feature "Canadian Walleye". 

     We are planning on remaining in this area until we need to return to La Crosse for Kathleen's first orthopedic appointments.

August 18, 2009

Windy-Blustery Day--Not all Lost

     Wanted to fish in the worst way today but it was a little to windy for my pee-wee boat so ended up laying low and working around the 'tininthewind'.  We did surface long enough on the end of the day to head out to about the only spot we know so far for good food, "The Landing".

     Seated next to us, the only other couple in the dining area, were Denny and Sue Vande Linde, permanent residents since retirement to the Lake Vermillion area.  They moved from the Twin Cities area after they sold their business.  Denny now keeps busy with guiding, and a pest control business.  I started a conversation between us mostly asking questions about the fishing and Denny helped me with advise even though he doesn't fish bass much, preferring musky and walleye.  Denny and Sue ended up joining us at our table and we had a most pleasant exchange covering many subjects.  We probably won't ever see them again but we are so fortunate in this life style of ours to have encounters like this with folks and it only takes moments to feel like long time friends.

     We left the restaurant and made our way to the marina to check on my boat.  It was fine.  Right were I left it, and beckoning to go fishing, but that will wait until tomorrow, weather permitting..  If not there is always another day!

August 17, 2009

Finally Settled in Northern Minnesota

     We settled on the new RV Park built behind the 'Timbuktu' marine and along the Forrest edge.  Wild life is abundant and we just discovered they have a pretty speedy WiFi being projected from their large building off in the distance.  Maybe Skype will work here after all.  There still is nothing for a cell phone signal on our Verizon and I must say in all our travels this is the first time we have not had use of our phones.



twin yearling bucks roaming around















     My little pee-wee sea eagle pontoon is set up and in its slip at the 'Timbuktu' marina about 11 miles down the road to a beautiful secluded bay on Lake Vermillion.



pee-wee pontoon
















two weeks of good fishing--I Hope!















     This RV Park is very remote and there seems to be plenty of wild life passing through from time to time.  This evening as I was working around outside two yearling twin bucks ambled along eating the clover that makes up most of the ground cover here.  This should be a nice two week stay.



yearling twin bucks












August 15, 2009

New Plans

     How quickly things can change when you add a little exploration to your day.  Yesterday we finished the day with concrete plans to move to a pristine little spot along Vermillion Lake at Spring Bay Resort.  We would have a tight spot down in a bit of a hole but this truck driver felt I could get the 'tininthewind' wiggled around there and set up right next to the water.  There would be 15 to 20 amp electric, no water or sewer hook-up but with it being such a close to the water spot we felt it would be worth it.  Checking the weather for the next 7 days showed 6 days with potential rain, some heavy.  I definitely went to bed with second thoughts about the location due to that much rain and it being a relatively soft grass area to begin with.

     We did have a secondary plan to spend some time at a new RV Park, with all three hook ups including 50 amp but were going to use it for a few days after spending our time with little services at the Spring Bay Resort spot.  More on this later.

     As I was checking out of the Casino RV Park the Host informed me that their marina on the water was just around the corner and I was entitled to a slip for my little boat free of charge.  I quickly got in the car, drove around the corner to the marina and discovered a very private little marina exclusive to the Casino tucked away in a little bay and absolutely ideal for my little boat.  Problem is the bay is shallow and basically one could only plan to catch pan fish, (crappies and sunfish) there.  No bass, darn!  We were all prepared to leave but would consider a return to the Casino RV Park if something else didn't develop.

     We hooked the Jeep to the 'tininthewind' and headed down the road, deciding to stop at the new RV Park mentioned above and would explore another day or two our options.  On signing in for a couple day stay I had a great conversation with one of the owners and he informed me that they too had a marina on the water where I also could get a slip for my giant pee-wee pontoon bass boat and the small islands, bay and narrows that were part of this cove were loaded with big small mouth bass-----"hogs" he said.  Well, did he have my attention?  The only down side is this cove and marina are 11 miles from the RV Park.

     Tomorrow we are off to have a look-see and I promise to let you know what we end up doing.  Right now it is pouring down rain.  We are one of four RV units in this new park.  Our neighbor, John down about 5 sites has been here all summer, with his boat at this marina, and he speaks highly of the fishing.  He has no interest in the bass but rather has been fishing walleye with pretty good catches every day.  I do believe already I can see promise in about a two week stay.


August 14, 2009

North East Minnesota

     As I mentioned in previous posts when the weather got too warm we were going to head North, especially up along the North Shore of Lake Superior so on Thursday the 13th we headed out from the La Crosse area with a planned destination of about 30 miles North of Duluth Minnesota and an RV park right along Lake Superior.  We rarely ever make advance reservations, preferring to just wing it, but this is one time we should have reserved as everything for many miles along Lake Superior were full.  We checked Park after Park until finally we decided to head inland (West) toward Ely, Minnesota.  The outside air temp went from the low 80's along Lake Superior to the low 90's after just a few miles inland.  So much for finding cooler temps.  We found all camp areas full including one we were familiar with in Ely and finally after a very exhausting day and more miles than I care to do in one day we got out the 'Indian Casino Book' and headed for one 22 miles to the South of Ely. 

     We booked in here for two days at the Casino RV Park and have enjoyed their restaurants.  Today we had the time to go explore the area and with a little pre exploration research we found and visited several resorts that also had RV Spaces listed.  We found one that looks like it is going to be perfect for the 'tininthewind', our relaxation, and perhaps some fishing.  We will be moving their tomorrow and plan to stay for a week or perhaps longer if we can.  In my next blog I will get some pictures of where we are and how we are situated along Lake Vermillion.

August 11, 2009

To The Boonies

     The weather has warmed enough to prompt me to want to head a bit North and along the North Shore of Lake Superior.  I have been watching the weather there all week and it has been 8 to 10 degree's cooler there on any given day than what we have been experiencing at Goose Island.  That would be my kind of weather.  We will head in that direction Thursday.

     Once in the Lake Superior area we will explore some of the back roads west in to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area to see if we can find a couple of good 'boondocking' spots for the 'tininthewind'.  We have not spent a lot of time in that area since I was in college so I suspect there have been many changes.  I don't think we will be disappointed as it is still pretty remote.  The only negative aspect to this move is that if I find a good place to fish it will mean another states fishing license.  Dang, it gets expensive to move from state to state and want to fish.  We need a national fishing license good in all states for those of us retired folk who like to fish.  Either that, or someone needs to become a martyr and just go fishing without.  Hmmm.  Problem is, I don't think I would like jails, or having my personal stuff confiscated.

     It is not likely that we will have access to the web so it may seem like we have dropped off the face of the earth but not to worry, we will surface somewhere.

August 08, 2009

County Fair Time

I get sick just looking at it















     The County Fair was in full swing in the Iowa County that I grew up in and being in the area it was only natural that we would pick up my mom and all head out to an afternoon at the fair.

     Looking back to when I was pre-teen the County fair was a big deal.  We saved our dimes and nickles for months just to be able to go on the rides and might even entice one of the girls to go on the tilt-a-whirl with us.  I remember the fair grounds as being huge, and the animal barns to be overwhelming. 

     Nothing has changed today, except the grounds are still the same size and the barns all where they were then, but as an adult it seems no bigger than a postage stamp.  The only thing that was high on our list of 'to do', was to make a stop at our church fair booth for some of that good old home town cooking and especially a piece of pie with ice cream.  Running in to former high school friends was a plus as we crossed paths with several.

     Oh, one thing did change.  The charge to get through the gate and enter the grounds was $10.00 each.  That really seems steep to visit a postage stamp affair.  I couldn't tell you what it cost to get in when I was young as I would always get let out on the road by my buddies and weave my way through the cornfield till I could simply enter the grounds.  No way was I parting with my dimes and nickles just to get in.




The Church Fair Food Booth
















Kathleen and Kathy Helle
















chairs set up for stage show













August 05, 2009


     The Weather has been great so we have not found the need to migrate North for cooler weather.  That is the plan if and when things get uncomfortably hot.

     We have been down to visit my mom at her senior center in Iowa a few times but the last two times we went to visit she was either busy getting her hair done or gone shopping with an elderly aunt who lives in the area.  One of these days we will learn to call and let her know we are coming.  Getting her on the phone is difficult as she is usually out playing cards with other residents of the home.  This is the same 'lady' who gave us such a hard time about moving to a senior center.  She now tells us she is very happy there.  We are happy for her!

     Tomorrow is moving day for us.  We have reached the allowable stay at this Corp of Engineers Park near Desoto, Wisconsin.  One is allowed to stay 14 days and then must be out of the park 14 days before returning for another 14 day stay.  We like this park because we can use our "America the Beautiful Senior Pass and can stay for half price.  A real savings when you are full-time.  We are not sure where we will move to tomorrow as we have several options that we like and will just make the decision as we depart this park.

     We have had an electric driver side window failure in the jeep and will be getting that fixed Friday.  Our water pump in the 'tininthewind' is also cutting in and out so I have arranged to pick up a new one Friday and will have it on hand when the old one dies completely.

     The boat is dismantled and tucked away in the basement.  Most outside chores are done for getting ready to roll tomorrow.  Kathleen is out sitting in the sun enjoying the day, and I am about to take a mid afternoon power nap.  Life doesn't get any better than that.

August 01, 2009

Hanging Out

     We continue with our 'Hanging Out' here in the Mid-West as we wait for this surgery date for Kathleen's hip.  We are camping as much as we can along our beloved Mississippi River and I have my little two seat pontoon boat in the water and ready to go at a moments notice.  I have been giving the fishing a go most every day but the fish have really not cooperated.  It is the doldrums of the summer and the fish can be very lazy.

     We have quite a few weeks before Kathleen's preparatory appointments begin so we will watch the weather and if it looks like a heat wave is about to start we will head North to see if we can find the cooler weather.  The North shore of Lake Superior will be appealing if it gets hot.

     I need to find more things to occupy my time each day as I can't polish the 'tininthewind' too much more or I will break through the paint layer pretty soon.  The weather has been perfect for being outside and I tend to hang there as much as I can.

     We are aware that the Temperature in the North West has been unusually hot and if it weren't for the hip thing we would probably be as uncomfortable as all the friends and family we left there. 

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